'Lanny Sommese: Image Maker' opens August 26 at Palmer Museum of Art

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The eminent career of Lanny Sommese, distinguished professor of graphic design at Penn State, who retired this spring after 44 years of teaching within the College of Arts and Architecture, will be celebrated at the Palmer Museum of Art.


Perhaps best known locally for his posters for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, which he has designed annually since 1974, Sommese is recognized worldwide as one of the leading voices in his field. In 1999, he was elected to the prestigious Alliance Graphique Internationale, an association, based in Zurich, Switzerland, that invites only the most accomplished and influential graphic designers into its ranks.


"Lanny Sommese: Image Maker" will be on view at the museum beginning Aug. 26 through Dec. 21. This exhibition will feature a selection of works Sommese produced during his tenure at Penn State, together with numerous studies that helped to bring each to fruition. The title of the show reflects Sommese's oft-expressed view that graphic design has less to do with personal expression than it does with the creation of images that respond to a multiplicity of external factors, such as the needs of the client and audience reaction.


"Designing is not art making," Sommese has written. Designers, he reasons, "are concerned with getting results, like selling products, filling auditoriums, identifying companies, and presenting information understandably."


Exhibition related event:


Lanny Sommese, distinguished professor emeritus of graphic design, will present a gallery talk titled "Lanny Sommese: Image Maker" at 12:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19.


The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is located on Curtin Road, University Park, and admission is free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays.


The museum receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Also on view at the Palmer Museum of Art this fall are "Henry Varnum Poor: Studies of the Land Grant Frescoes," Sept. 2 through Dec. 21, and "Marcellus Shale Documentary Project," Sept. 23 through Dec. 14.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated January 10, 2015